Well, we nutritionists have always known this… (:-). Seriously, there is now evidence to confirm that you may even be able to redress genetic issues in your family, with enogh raw fruists and vegetables.
A long-held mantra suggests that you can’t change your family, the genes they pass on, or the effect of these genes. Now, scientists are attacking that belief. The researchers discovered the gene that is the strongest marker for heart disease can actually be modified by generous amounts of fruit and raw vegetables.
The results of their study are published in the current issue of the journal PLoS Medicine.
“We know that 9p21 genetic variants increase the risk of heart disease for those that carry it,” said Dr. Jamie Engert, joint principal investigator of the study, who is a researcher in cardiovascular diseases at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) and associate member in the Department of Human Genetics at McGill University. “But it was a surprise to find that a healthy diet could significantly weaken its effect.”
The research, which represents one of the largest gene-diet interaction studies ever conducted on cardiovascular disease, involved the analysis of more than 27,000 individuals from five ethnicities — European, South Asian, Chinese, Latin American and Arab — and the effect that their diets had on the effect of the 9p21 gene. The results suggest that individuals with the high risk genotype who consumed a prudent diet, composed mainly of raw vegetables, fruits and berries, had a similar risk of heart attack to those with the low risk genotype.
“We observed that the effect of a high-risk genotype can be mitigated by consuming a diet high in fruits and vegetables,” said Sonia Anand, joint principal investigator of the study, and a researcher at the Population Health Research Institute and a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University.